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TokyoScope NEWS: Mushroom People Sun Plaza Food Delivery Fail
A round up of recent Japanese pop culture headlines and ephemera
Kaiju: Movies: Art: Matango 60th Anniversary Series debuts in Japan
Starting this weekend, three Japanese artists have teamed up to pay tribute to the 60th anniversary of the Japanese monster chiller horror movie classic Matango (1963), known in the West by its rather remarkable TV retitling, Attack of the Mushroom People.
Matango is a fungi of terror, decades before The Last of Us, who lures people to their doom with delectable mushrooms that turn anyone who eats them into creepy creatures.
Japanese artist Rockin’ Jelly Bean, known for his Erotiska brand, offers an original Matango art print, T-shirts, and a figure painted by 'ol Jellybean himself!
Meanwhile, artist, creature designer, and sometimes manga maker Katsuya Terada also has an original art print, T-shirts, and an original painted figure for sale.
And finally, rock and roll themed painter Naoya offers her print and T-shirt take on Matango, along with an original figure that looks pretty hairy!
All items are now up for sale at the Erostika online shop, and it seems that international shipping is available. The whole world is starting to look like a mushroom kingdom, and I don’t mean the Mario kind either!
Tokyo: Business: Redevelopment: Architecture: The Sun Sets on Nakano Sunplaza
There’s been a lot of chatter recently about urban development planned for Tokyo neighborhoods like Shibuya’s Dogenzaka and a large stretch of Roppongi to boot. In short, a big chunk of Tokyo real estate that originated in the 20th century is slated to come down soon.
Meanwhile, this weekend in Nakano near the JR station, the Nakano Sunplaza complex finally closed its doors for good. This massive, slightly pyramid-styled structure, first opened in 1973, contains a hotel and a famed concert hall where countless musical artists (and idols) strut the stage. There were also wedding facilities, meeting rooms, even a bowling alley, manga café, and an airsoft gun shooting range tucked inside.
However, the area around Nakano station, like parts of Shibuya and Roppongi, is also set for reconstruction, and it was decided to scrap the aging Sunplaza building. Meanwhile, developers are planning to unveil a new Sunplaza complex with “bigger, better, and more modern” facilities to open in 2028.
City Pop musical artist Tatsuro Yamashita (age 70) is set to play the final show at Sunplaza concert today, hours from now on July 2 as I sit typing, and I’m willing to bet there won't be a dry eye in the house. It really is the end of an era, and the relics of Japan’s Showa period (1926 - 1989) are living on borrowed time.
The demolition of the Nakano Sunplaza building doesn't directly mean anything bad for Tokyo's legendary otaku paradise Nakano Broadway, but it's not difficult to imagine developers having their eye on the popular "Nakano Broadway" brand for some future redevelopment project.
Food: Business: Another Delivery App in Japan Announces They're Done
Food-e, a Tokyo-based food delivery app that catered to the very high-end market (think $400 steaks, $200 bento boxes—you might be a wealthy expat), now joins the graveyard of delivery apps that have closed or left the Japanese market in the last few years. As Tokyo Cheapo put it, “The long list includes Food Panda, Didi, Maishoku, D-Delivery and Rakuten Delivery.”
In the time leading up to the pandemic, and during it, it felt like the streets of Tokyo were becoming a battleground for competing food delivery apps. But now, when the final battle comes, I'm expecting Uber Eats and Wolt to put on a show worthy of King Kong vs Godzilla.
Art: Business: Tokyo Gendai Art Fair Set to Open Soon
Tokyo Gendai is a new international art fair hoping to boost Japan's art scene set to debut July 7 to July 9, 2023 in Yokohama. Many of Tokyo's top galleries will be participating.
Retro: Random Mode: Film
Jennifer Cononley, Roadshow Magazine, 1986
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